Presentation Abstract

The Nooksack Indian Tribe reservation is located at the foot of the North Cascades Mountains, near Deming, WA, and approximately 13 miles east of Bellingham and the Salish Sea. Drayton Harbor is part of the Salish Sea and is the Tribe’s traditional shellfish gathering area. Drayton Harbor is also an important shellfish gathering and production area for commercial and recreational uses. The Harbor has been under a TMDL for fecal coliform bacteria for more than 10 years for non-compliance with state water quality standards. Although re-opened to year-round harvest in late 2016, Drayton Harbor’s shellfish have been subjected to various harvest restrictions since 1988 due to poor water quality. Over the years, these fecal pollution related closures have significantly impacted the ability of tribal members, general public, and commercial groups to harvest shellfish. In 2012, the Tribe actively teamed with local, state and federal Whatcom Clean Water Program partners to ramp up targeted monitoring in the Drayton Harbor watershed. The Nooksack Tribe voluntarily funded routine monthly water sampling at over 30 monitoring sites in the watershed. Program partners used the data to further bracket sample stream segments to locate potential fecal coliform bacteria pollution sources and to help carry out a Pollution Identification and Correction (PIC) program. The objective of this presentation is to summarize the Tribe’s sampling efforts and results, as well as share the experience of participating in an effective, collaborative team focused on improving water quality to re-open the harbor to Tribal, recreational, and commercial shellfish harvest.

Session Title

Drayton Harbor Shellfish Recovery: A Case Study of Local Collaboration

Keywords

Shellfish, Tribal government, Treaty resources, Water quality

Conference Track

SSE2: Collaboration and Engagement

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE2-188

Start Date

6-4-2018 9:00 AM

End Date

6-4-2018 9:15 AM

Type of Presentation

Oral

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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Apr 6th, 9:00 AM Apr 6th, 9:15 AM

Nooksack Tribe collaborative teaming to address shellfish harvest closures in Drayton Harbor

The Nooksack Indian Tribe reservation is located at the foot of the North Cascades Mountains, near Deming, WA, and approximately 13 miles east of Bellingham and the Salish Sea. Drayton Harbor is part of the Salish Sea and is the Tribe’s traditional shellfish gathering area. Drayton Harbor is also an important shellfish gathering and production area for commercial and recreational uses. The Harbor has been under a TMDL for fecal coliform bacteria for more than 10 years for non-compliance with state water quality standards. Although re-opened to year-round harvest in late 2016, Drayton Harbor’s shellfish have been subjected to various harvest restrictions since 1988 due to poor water quality. Over the years, these fecal pollution related closures have significantly impacted the ability of tribal members, general public, and commercial groups to harvest shellfish. In 2012, the Tribe actively teamed with local, state and federal Whatcom Clean Water Program partners to ramp up targeted monitoring in the Drayton Harbor watershed. The Nooksack Tribe voluntarily funded routine monthly water sampling at over 30 monitoring sites in the watershed. Program partners used the data to further bracket sample stream segments to locate potential fecal coliform bacteria pollution sources and to help carry out a Pollution Identification and Correction (PIC) program. The objective of this presentation is to summarize the Tribe’s sampling efforts and results, as well as share the experience of participating in an effective, collaborative team focused on improving water quality to re-open the harbor to Tribal, recreational, and commercial shellfish harvest.